How To Quickly Get To The ‘First Time Right’ Process

When people talk about the ‘First Time Right’ principle, they typically refer to the goal of running through a business process without the need to redo certain steps (because they were not right the first time). You also do not want to do unnecessary extra steps (referred to as ‘Waste’ in Lean) that ideally should not be there.

So, when you analyze your process with process mining you often want to focus on these repetitions, the extra steps and other kind of rework, to understand where and why these inefficiencies are happening.

But one of the goals of your process mining analysis might be to find out how many cases follow the ‘First Time Right’ process in the first place. Is 80-90% of the process going through the ‘First Time Right’ process flow? Or is it more like 30%?

In the above video, we show you how you can perform such a ‘First Time Right’ analysis with Disco very quickly.

In a nutshell, the steps are as follows:

1. Prepare your data

If you still have to clean or otherwise prepare your data, do this first. For example, you might want to remove incomplete cases from your data set using the Endpoints filter.

2. Make a permanent copy of your data set

The cleaned data set will be your new reference point. For example, if your data only contains 80% completed cases, then you want these 80% to be “the new 100%” in terms of your ‘First Time Right’ analysis.

To do this, press the ‘Copy’ button in the lower right corner and enable the ‘Apply filters permanently’ option.

3. Remove unwanted steps and paths

You could simply determine and filter the variant that corresponds to the ‘First Time Right’ process, but often there are more than one and the total number of variants can grow very quickly. An easier way is to work yourself towards the ‘First Time Right’ process in a visual way directly from the process map.

You start by clicking on the unwanted steps and paths and use the filter shortcuts from the process map, in an iterative way. Before applying each filter, you invert the configuration so that you do not keep all cases that perform the step (or follow the path) that you clicked on, but precisely the ones that do not.

4. Read off the remaining percentage of cases

When you are finished, you can simply look at the percentage indicator for the cases that remain in the lower left corner. This will be the portion of process instances that follow the ‘First Time Right’ process (out of all completed cases in your data set).

You can of course also look at the number of cases and performance statistics, as well as inspect the remaining variants in the ‘Cases’ tab.

If you have not done this before, try it! Process mining can not only help you to focus on the parts that go wrong but also quickly show you the portion of the process that goes right. Make sure to keep copies of your different analyses, so that you can compare them.

Anne Rozinat

Anne Rozinat

Market, customers, and everything else

Anne knows how to mine a process like no other. She has conducted a large number of process mining projects with companies such as Philips Healthcare, Océ, ASML, Philips Consumer Lifestyle, and many others.